Boris Johnson’s Covid Recovery Plan Is Spend, Spend, Spend

johnson boris covid recovery plan
Middle East
  • Date: 02-Jul-2021
  • Source: Asharq AL-awsat
  • Sector: Healthcare
  • Country: Middle East
  • Who else needs to know?

Boris Johnson’s Covid Recovery Plan Is Spend, Spend, Spend

As the drama around former Health Secretary Matt Hancock moves to the background, a moment of truth is coming for Boris Johnson. This time, it's all about spending.

The prime minister's inclination is to spend his way out of the pandemic-induced crisis, but Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is increasingly anxious to see fiscal guardrails imposed. How this tension gets resolved will define Johnson's legacy as much as Brexit and probably determine the timing of the next general election.

One major area where the debate over spending is playing out is pensions. The government is under pressure from fiscal conservatives to abandon the so-called "triple lock" on the basic state pension. That policy, which has been in place since 2010, promises that pensions will increase in line with either inflation, the rise in average earnings or 2.5% "” whichever of those three is highest.

Critics argue that the triple lock is unaffordable, ties the Treasury's hands when it needs to fund other priorities and exacerbates intergenerational inequities. Johnson, however, wants to uphold a commitment from his election manifesto to keep it. He's also worried about the political fallout from abandoning a long-standing Tory policy that benefits a key voter group. The triple-lock

Check the history on the topic
Vote to feature